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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Port Authority Honors Lost Colleagues

Aired September 11, 2002 - 14:04   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Down -- actually, up, if you know New York, up at Riverside Church, they are memorializing, remembering the Port Authority officers who died on the 11th; 37 of them died.
I think in this mix of law enforcement and firefighters who were on the scene, perhaps, the Port Authority has gotten the least attention, but it is Port Authority land and the Port Authority was responsible for it, and 37 of those fine officers, men and women, did not make it out.

This is the service, if we can listen briefly. I'm not sure where they are in it. This is Reverend Dr. James Forbes.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

REV. JAMES FORBES, JR., RIVERSIDE CHURCH: On behalf of the officers, staff and members of the Riverside Church, I welcome you for this interfaith service of remembrance. The board of commissioners, and the dedicated officers, staff and families of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, have also joined in inviting us together today into this house of worship.

This occasion, the first anniversary of that never-to-be- forgotten day of infamy, terror and mass destruction, we have come to remember, and also to offer words of commendation and praise and thanksgiving for the lives of those who were snatched away, but whose lives will never, ever be forgotten.

We are here to give thanks for every precious memory of those lives we lost. We honor all of the heroes who proved that love, duty and dedication can be stronger even than death. We stand in awe of the courage of our bereaved families, who have bestowed dignity upon the departed by their determination to keep on keeping on, in spite of unbearable anguish and pain. We are here to give thanks to God for hearing our prayer.

Shortly after 9/11, we were heard all over this nation singing, but, in effect, praying, "God bless America." One year later, we are here, and our souls look back and wonder how we got over. We think we know. Through many dangers, toils and snares, we have already come. 'Tis grace has brought us safe this far, and grace will lead us home.

We are here together to resolve to get on as we are able with the rebuilding of our lives, our families and friendships, our communities and businesses, our nation, keeping on building our dreams and our hope and our faith. BROWN: Reverend Forbes at Riverside Church honoring the Port Authority. I said that 37 officers lost their lives, and that is, in fact, true. What I should have said, and did not, is that many others who worked for the Port Authority -- the Port Authority's offices were in the Trade Center -- perished as well, including the executive director of the Port Authority.

And the service today is to honor, not simply the law enforcement officers who died that day, but also all of the others who worked for the Newark, New Jersey Port Authority down in the World Trade Center a year ago.

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